Reinertson, Sooners win DI match play championship
Oklahoma out-dueled Oregon to win the NCAA men's golf match play national championship over the defending champs from the Ducks, 3-1-1 on Wednesday at Rich Harvest Farms.
"We had pretty much everyone coming back from last year when we made it to the final eight," said Rylee Reinertson. "It just felt like we were really close to putting all the pieces together and we just really believed in ourselves the entire year and we knew that something special could happen."
The Sooner junior, who hails from Gibbon, Neb., faced off against Wyndham Clark (Denver, Colo.) in the third head-to-head match of the day. Clark entered the national tournament as the No. 2 ranked player, according to Golfstat, and a 2017 Division I Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year semifinalist.
Reinertson and Clark went toe-to-toe throughout the afternoon. Reinertson was 2 down thru 3 holes, but he was able to stay with Clark through the front nine and made the turn 1 down. As it was Tuesday, Reinertson played his best on the back nine, forcing all-square on three occasions, including a great par save on 17 after a wayward drive off to the right.
"I knew that we were up a couple of matches ahead of me, but down the stretch I didn't really know what had happened, so I was trying to play my own game out there and just worry about it afterwards," Reinertson told the Golf Channel.
18 belonged to Clark, though, as he went on to record an eagle on the par-5, even though a birdie still would have won the hole. Reinertson finished 2-1 in match play.
Oklahoma got wins from Blaine Hale (4 & 3), Max McGreevy (3 & 2), and Brad Dalke (2 & 1). Grant Hirschman were all-square thru 17 and did not have to finish the 18th hole.
Both teams endured four rounds of stroke play and two more rounds of match play to get to the final bout. This is the second national match play championship for Oklahoma.